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First Drives

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    First Drive: 2015 Kia Soul EV Prototype
    The People's Box Goes Electric 1384361880

    Spend a few days chatting with the good people of Seoul about their neighbors to the north, and you'll find a pattern emerges. When they first start talking, South Korea's citizenry speaks openly and ardently about seeking reunification with their North Korean brothers and sisters. Yet once you ...

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    First Drive: 2015 Audi S3 Sedan
    Like The B5 S4, Only Revisited And Remastered 1384275420

    For the last few years, Audi has been publicly toying with building a successor to its Ur-Quattro, a model still glowing in a gritty patina of motorsports glory decades after it left the scene. If anything, the rally car's halo has burned brighter as Audi has matured into a world luxury ...

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    First Drive: 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid [w/video]
    Trekking Where No Hybrid Has Gone Before 1384189020

    The butler announcing arriving guests to the hybrid party has just called Subaru's name, at long last. The XV Crosstrek wasn't even supposed to come to the US, but the 2014 XV Crosstrek Hybrid endows it with a suit tailored for our regulatory dress code, adding all that weighty battery goodness ...

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    First Drive: 2014 Nissan Rogue
    A Mighty Fine Crossover For The Global Set 1383321420

    When I first started in this whole automotive journalism biz, I held a sort of hodgepodge receptionist/gopher/production assistant role, and each morning as the staff filed in, I'd ask them how they liked whatever car they were assigned to drive the previous night. Most of my colleagues would ...

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    First Drive: 2014 BMW i3
    When Is A BMW Not A BMW? 1382630220

    We can only imagine the challenges BMW is going to have explaining the i3 electric vehicle to the world. It's got a new powertain (all-electric, with optional range extender), a new production method (carbon fiber reinforced plastic!), a new brand (the 'i' line) and a new vehicle type (it's a ...

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    First Drive: 2015 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S [UPDATE]
    What Happens When A Restaurant Alters Your Favorite Dish? 1382025420

    A little more than two years ago, I called the 2011 Aston Martin V12 Vantage "an intoxicating machine masterfully engineered to gratify every emotion in a car enthusiast's soul." It wasn't difficult to understand why, as the aluminum two-seater was like an old-school muscle car in its mechanical ...

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    First Drive: 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid [w/video]
    1381766220

    Delivering On Promises The 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid should surprise no one. Its look is something we've seen since the non-hybrid versions went on sale last year. Its powertrain, mostly, we are familiar with from the already-on-sale Accord Plug-In model. And the overall vibe of the car? Well, ...

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    First Drive: 2014 Chevrolet Malibu
    1381507020

    A Meaningful Midsize Mulligan First dates can be rough. We've all been there – forcing your way through some conversation, trying to find common ground, nibbling your way through a meal you'll no doubt end up paying for yourself. The person across the table may be perfectly nice, and means ...

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    First Drive: 2015 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E [w/video]
    1381247820

    The Swedes Bend Sixes And Fives Into Fours With government agency pressures mounting, the auto industry's latest engine and powertrain trends invariably include the cobbling of heretofore eight-cylinder models into charged (either turbo- or super-) six-cylinder models, six-cylinders into charged ...

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    First Drive: Porsche 911 Reimagined by Singer
    1381161420

    An Iconic Sports Car, Restored to Seduce I have been strapped behind the iconic Momo Prototipo steering wheel for a little more than an hour, all windows down as I carve my way up a rugged canyon during an unusually warm Southern California evening, and I am overwhelmed with emotion. My heart is ...

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    First Drive: 2014 Audi SQ5
    No Diesel? No Problem 1380815820

    With the exception of a handful of markets (including the US), the Audi SQ5 was a pioneer for the company's S/RS performance line as it was the first model to wear the badge and also get diesel power. Our general "everything is better with a diesel" mentality was put to the test when we first ...

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    First Drive: 2014 Mazda3 Sedan [w/video]
    1380729420

    Playing Favorites We're not going to beat around the bush: for the kind of person who willfully chooses to take longer, windier and more scenic routes to get to Point B, the 2014 Mazda3 is the new compact car measuring stick by which others will be judged. That doesn't, of course, make it the ...

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    First Drive: 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C [w/video]
    1380643020

    The Baby 458 Since it debuted this car as a concept at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, Alfa Romeo has managed to keep the buzz alive for its 4C sports car – a huge accomplishment in its own right for this wildly adored, long suffering and eternally cash-strapped company. Being luckily ...

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    First Drive: 2014 Chevrolet Silverado High Country
    1380556620

    Cowboy On A Champagne Budget Trucks are more expensive than ever these days. This is a growing trend we've observed over the years, something that we are still taken aback by when having a close look at the window stickers of our new test trucks, and something that you commenters point out just ...

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    First Drive: 2014 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG
    1380297420

    For Chief Execs In One Hell Of A Hurry We've finally calmed down from thrashing the all-new, front-wheel-drive-biased, 4Matic A45 and CLA45 from Mercedes-Benz's AMG performance division. Our driving experiences were good and, above all, more responsive than any mainline AMG model in memory ...

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    First Drive: 2014 Cadillac CTS
    1380038220

    Fixated By Europeans, GM Ensures The Third Time Is A Charm Few things are better for consumers than competition raising the bar. And no campaign seems fiercer than the one currently underway in the midsize sport-sedan segment now that Cadillac has introduced its all-new 2014 CTS to go ...

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    First Drive: 2014 Jaguar XJR
    1379951820

    Jaguar In Its Purest Form Jaguar has spent a lot of time, money and engineering effort refocusing itself for the modern world. In 2006, the current XK replaced the former XK8 and introduced a new aluminum-intensive chassis architecture to Jaguar's portfolio, and two years later, the XF whipped ...

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    First Drive: 2014 Jeep Cherokee
    1379606160

    The Cherokee Is Dead. Long Live The Cherokee. There are three sentences that, for this reviewer, define what needs to be conveyed about the 2014 Jeep Cherokee. The first: it is very good. Jeep spent 27 years building the Cherokee and its brand, from 1974 to 2001. Twelve years ago, the Cherokee ...

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    First Drive: 2014 BMW X5
    1379519820

    Is Better Than Ever Still Good Enough? By now, all but the staunchest of traditionalists have moved past the shock and horror of seeing their favorite automotive brands branching into categories and segments that break with their previously accepted norms. In other words, you and I don't really ...

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    First Drive: 2014 Rolls-Royce Wraith
    1379433420

    Wafting In The Fastest And Most Powerful Vehicle RR Has Ever Made It is said that Rolls-Royce co-founder Sir Henry Royce once proclaimed: "Take the best that exists and make it better: When it does not exist, design it." The second part of that quote is most curious, as the century-old automaker ...

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